Magic Products Review

Mirror Dimension by Devin Knight

Written by Bernard Sim

 

When I first read the instructions, I was skeptical whether someone actually gets this to work. I kept asking myself, would spectators really believe that the reflections transposed with the words on the card.

After viewing the demo, I was disappointed that the method was rather obvious. I showed the demo to some laymen and they straight away revealed the method. Though the working is very easy, you’ll probably need a strong persona to pull this off.

It may work for some, but this is definitely not for me. Rating 2/5.

Nothing In Transit (Gimmicks and DVD) by David Forrest – DVD

Written by Bernard Sim

Wow, a trick using cards and it’s not even a card trick! This is really a very good effect. Most of us has come across at least one version of a moving hole effect. What makes this different from others is that this version is very visual. The size of the hole is not the standard size from a hole puncher. The hole is about the size of an American Quarter. Did I mention that this is very visual? The hole actually moves within the card without the cover of the hands (the movement of the hole is even in slow motion!) and the hole eventually moves to another card. At the end of the routine, the cards can be examined. David Forrest also shows you how to reset the effect which takes only a few seconds. The handling for the overall effect is not difficult as there are no complicated moves.


What you get is a set of well constructed gimmicks with the DVD. Part of the gimmicks will last you awhile whereas other parts of the gimmick will need to be replaced eventually. David Forrest has included 2 routines for this set; he has also included other similar themed routine as part of his bonus routines. The bonus section also includes footage/ routines from his previous DVDs.


If you are a fan of the moving hole plot, this is a must for you. If you don’t have a moving hole routine, this is also a must for you. Did I mention that this is very visual? Highly recommended! Rating 4/5.

Paul Harris Presents The Hawk 2.0 (With Gimmicks) by Alexander Kolle

Written by Bernard Sim

 

The AD looks good, the demo looks even better but is this as good and practical? Let’s take a look at what you will be getting. In this DVD package, you will get 2 gimmicks (basic and lucky card gimmick), a little something which is common and easily available and threads. I mentioned the thread (not exposing this effect) here because these are sold as refills too. There is also a piece of instruction sheet with additional tips and ideas included.

The instructional DVD is very detailed but I find the pace too slow. The performance segment is kinda boring and slow too. There are 3 routines shown and taught in the DVD.
The standard routine (The Hawk) - which can be a visual addition to your ACR.
The Stealth Hawk - uses a coin and is done hands free.
The lucky card - uses a different but similar gimmick.

Out of these 3 routines, I like the Stealth Hawk (in terms of the effect) the most as this is done hands free and it is very visual too. You will need to modify your Hawk gimmick to do this version. After the modification, you will not be able to use the same gimmick to do the standard version. I don’t feel it is practical enough to do it in a walk around gig as often as you want. After a few performances, you will need to use the “something” to make it work again.

Upon performing the visual change, you will need to remove the signed card as the gimmick cannot withstand close scrutiny. The gimmick will not last you forever, that’s why refills are sold but you can also make them yourself too.

Apart from teaching methods with using the Hawk, Alexander’s ACR is also taught. This routine is quite the standard routine that most people perform. If you have never learned an ACR before, this is a good place to start.

The teaching method in this DVD is very detailed and a “summary” segment is shown after the explanations. This is the explanation done without words. Nice selection of soundtracks too.

I find the preparation a bit cumbersome if you intend to perform this often. Other than that, the effect itself is very visual and you will be able to impress your spectators. This is recommended for those who want to increase the visual impact on their ACR. Rating 3.5/5

PS: I am listening to the soundtrack while writing this review. If you have the DVD, you will be able to enjoy this track on the menu page.

Poker Sam by Alan Bursky – Book

Written by Bernard Sim

This is basically a twisting the aces effect with a kicker ending. The twisting the aces is not new but Alan Bursky has added the patter for this routine. Part of the patter can be seen on the description of this effect.

What you get is just a 7 pages booklet. You will need to construct your own gimmick and also purchase an item for the “kicker” ending. This kicker ending is unfortunately not available in Singapore. I tried to Google it but I can’t seem to find this either, but even if I were to find it, I won’t be able to use it as this item is banned in Singapore. You can still do the routine without the kicker. At a retail price of US$17.95, I think the gimmick card should at least be provided even though you can make it yourself.

However, the bonus routine in this booklet is very good. I wouldn’t classify it under “routine” as there is no magic element in it, it is more like a gag.

If you reside in Singapore and you are thinking of buying this for the kicker ending, you can forget about it as you will never be able to perform the full routine with the kicker legally. If the retail price was lower, I’d probably give it a higher rating. Rating: 2/5.

Sick by Sean Fields

Written by Bernard Sim

 

“People like to be freaked out.” That’s what Sean Fields said. Do you agree with what he says? Well I don’t really believe that people like to be freaked out. There may be some but not all.

This effect is basically: swallow a coin and cut your arm with a knife and while the blood is oozing out, the coin will seemly have a life of its own and will slowly come out of the wound. This is visual geek magic.

You will need to purchase all the items necessary to perform this. The items are not difficult to find. Sean Field includes a recipe to make fake blood though you can also buy them if you don’t want to make them. You will also need to prepare the coin (or buy them from a magic shop). The method used is not new but it’s a ingenious way to use it for such as effect.

Though I’m not a fan of this genre of magic, this effect looks convincing and can be gross to some too. You have to choose your spectator carefully when performing this piece, especially kids; you don’t want them to imitate you.

If you like geek magic, or if you are already performing a version of needles through arm, swallowing razor blades or needles, this coin/ geek effect is for you. For me, I still prefer my classic coin effects. Rating 3/5.

Sin City by Luke Dancy

Written by Bernard Sim

 

This DVD contains 6 effects and 3 moves by Luke Dancy.

Sandwich way did they go?

A sandwich effect with 2 cards selection by the spectator. What makes this different from other sandwich effects is that Luke Dancy added a transposition in this routine. No gimmicks used and you will need to be able to do certain sleights and is not suitable for beginners.

Impulsive

A quickie 4 ace production. A face down card is changed into an ace and then the rest of the aces are produced from the middle of the deck. The whole effect is over in 15 seconds. This is not too difficult to do but you will still need to put in some practice. I have always like fanciful 4 ace productions, but I don’t really like this version.

911

An impromptu transposition and magi find selected card effect. There are some very clever moves here.

A Misleading Situation
An unsharpened pencil is sharpened magically in the performer’s hand. This one looks good and I like this effect the most in this DVD. In order to perform this, you will need to buy another effect which will cost you a retail price of US$15. This is a novel way of performing the original effect.

Stuck on Daley

A variation of Dr. Daley’s Last Card Trick with the addition of transposing one of the cards to the spectator’s signed card. You will need an additional item which is easily available to make this work.

Cubed up is the bonus routine in this DVD. This effect can be performed when you are in a bar setting. The effect is essentially sucking a solid piece of ice cube (size of ice cube is bigger than the straw) up the straw into the performer’s mouth.

Moves

Under this section, 3 moves are taught.

Under control enables you to control a card from the middle to the bottom of the deck. There is a little discrepancy in this move but I am pretty sure it will not get noticed by your spectator.

To The Table is the reverse of Under Control. This move will enable you to control a card from the middle to the top of the deck. Easy and fun to do.

The Shadow Pass: a reverse spread pass, that’s how Luke Dancy puts it. This is based on the Herman Pass. Luke goes through every detail in teaching this move. Not too difficult and is useful too.

While I feel that some of the routines can be confusing for spectators, there are others which might be useful. The moves taught in this DVD are very useful and it can be applied to any card effects. I’d prefer the moves taught in this DVD more than the effects. Rating 3.5/5